As the staff at As The Donald Turns assembles the story lines for columns, we carefully review where we want to go with our concepts, because, frankly, words matter. Well, and some of us spent too much time over the weekend listening to ‘80’s music and heard the Missing Persons song that is the name of our new episode, “What Are Words For?”
As The Donald Turns; What Are Words For?
- To start with, Donald joined Senate republicans for lunch on Tuesday. There was much discuss. Why was the president so hot to help Chinese telecommunications ZTE? Why was the White House refusing to apologize for a staffer’s indelicate reference to the ailing John McCain last weekend? What was up with all the White House leaks?
So, did those questions get answered? No, because, “What are words for when no listens anymore.” I mean there is no reason to think the GOP cares about any of Donald’s absurdities. They haven’t yet. The Commerce Department had levied sanctions against ZTE that crippled the Chinese company, and US intelligence agencies reported that the technology was being used as surveillance devices. But all of a sudden, Donald wants to help them out because he needs China’s help with North Korea. You know who needs Donald’s help with China? America’s soy bean growers who are getting hammered, because China retaliated against Donald’s tariffs, but stopped all purchase of US soy beans. But Donald is busy Making China Great Again.
According to the Senators they also did not discuss the comments by communications staffer Kelly Sadler, who notoriously said Senator John McCain’s opinion on the CIA designee did not matter because he is dying anyway. Clearly Donald never believes in apologizing, and thus his staff is exempt from admitting their cruel lack of human decency.
So why didn’t they discuss these issues? Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who sometimes has moments of sanity and clarity, said “This wasn’t that kind of meeting.”
Just what kind of meeting was it for goodness sake? The kind where words don’t matter. “It’s a sorry state, I say to myself,” says the song.
Got A Leak? Call A Plumber.
- Of course, when words do come out, Donald often does not like what they are for. Early in the administration when there were leaks to the media, Donald blamed it on Obama staff holdovers. We are now 16 months into the Era of Donald. The leaks that come out of the West Wing are from his staff, his people. When Stadler made her unconscionable “joke,” the media found out because White House communications staffers leaked it to the media. When Sara Sanders had a staff meeting over the weekend and said she assumed something from the meeting might leak, no fewer than five staffers leaked that comment to Axios. The leakers are Donald’s own people. They feel no sense of loyalty to him, and perhaps are concerned enough abut the inner workings of the administration so as to feel the need to let it out. Donald of course was less than pleased.
“The so-called leaks coming out of the White House are a massive over exaggeration put out by the Fake News Media in order to make us look as bad as possible. With that being said, leakers are traitors and cowards, and we will find out who they are!”
1:46 PM – 14 May 2018
Traitors and cowards indeed! Let’s remember for a moment who they work for. Donald praised Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign. He pardoned felonious leaker Scooter Libby. He sits on his phone in the early morning hours, instead of working, tweeting out random stuff, much of which bears no resemblance to the truth.
None the less, the White House is going to get to the bottom of the leaking. They now have security taking all personal phones from staff and putting them in a locker for the work day, out of the reach of those nefarious folks doing the work of the people. Staffers are also being searched. This is what White House security is doing now. Searching workers for their phones and being on locker duty because Donald does not command loyalty from his staff. Of course we are not sure how that stops them from talking to the media before work or after work, but hey, that is just us being logical. As the song goes, “I may as well go up and talk to a wall.”
Hey, At Least The Canapes Were Tasty
- Words were a big part of the week in the Middle East. The US opened its kind of/sort of new Israel embassy in Jerusalem. Really, what the administration did was rearrange some floor plans, re-do some office space and vacuum the carpets in what was already the US consulate building in Jerusalem, and put a new sign on it calling it the embassy. Donald claimed he saved tens of millions over the projected cost. Well, sure because that projection was to, you know, actually build a secure embassy. As of now, most of the staff has stayed behind at the current embassy in Tel Aviv because US security officials have not ordained the consulate-embassy safe for US state department officials.
The ensuing protests by the Palestinians had little to do with the official opening of the embassy in the city they see as sacred Muslim land. The protests had been planned for weeks in observance of Nakba Day, and this just happened to be a convenient precursor. The consternation in words by US allies throughout the Middle East and Europe, and their refusal to follow along and move their embassy is real. A symbolic move by Donald will have long term ramifications that no one can fully imagine.
What was clear though, is that even when doing something that pleases one country, (Israel), and his far-right political flank, the Donald administration still manages to muddle the words and message. It was unsafe for POTUS to travel to Jerusalem to open the new “embassy,” so he sent his chief diplomat. No, not that one. No, not that one either. He sent his son-in-law Jared Kushner. You know, the one who has solved the Middle East peace crisis. The irony is Jared could not have full access to the embassy because his security clearance has been stripped since he is under investigation by Robert Mueller. Thankfully he brought his wife Ivanka who is in charge of nothing in particular but has full Oval Office clearance.
The real fun came in the speeches before “Javanka.” “Pastor” John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, delivered a benediction at the new embassy. He has contorted the book of Jeremiah to explain Hitler. That’s nothing compared to “Pastor” Robert Jeffress.
He has called Islam and Mormonism heresies “from the pit of hell,” suggested that the Catholic Church was led astray by Satan, and accused then-President Barack Obama of “paving the way” for the Antichrist. In 2008, Jeffress also said Jews, along with those from other religions, would be going to Hell. Yet there he was. In Israel. In Jerusalem. Giving a prayer. Hey everyone! Mazel Tov on the new building. Enjoy the knishes and Manischewitz being served in the lobby.
I mean for all that is sane, who the heck is running this side show? These guys cannot get out of their own way, yet blame “fake news” and Hillary and Dems. From Missing Persons; “Something has to happen to change the direction. What little filters through is giving you the wrong impression.”
How Dare You!
- The staff at As The Donald Turns is taking the liberty to go over its word budget for one more issue of personal importance. Trump shill Steve Cortes has raised our collective hackles. He was the Hispanic outreach coordinator for Donald during the campaign. Now he spends his time making a fool of himself on CNN.
Cortes wrote an op-ed for the fish wrap known as The Washington Examiner. We will not link it. In it, he tried to portray that all of these issues and the likes of potentially impeachable offenses being investigated by Mueller are but a mere distraction. He talked about the accomplishments of the first 16 months of the administration. One or two of them were arguably legitimate. The rest were garbage. But Cortes contended that Trump is on a winning streak that rivals that of the great UCLA coach John Wooden, whose Bruins won a stunning 88 straight over three seasons.
Some of the staff at As The Donald Turns met the late Coach Wooden on numerous occasions and know his history. Coach was a teacher first and basketball coach second. He led some of the greatest players in the sport’s history who also went on to become civil rights leaders, businessmen, civic leaders, and pro basketball greats. He was a man of virtue and character. Wooden was married to the same woman, Nell, for 53 years until her passing. To put Donald Trump’s name with his philandering and cheating and scapegoating and lying in the same thought as Coach Wooden is pure blasphemy. Shame on you, Cortes! We call you out as a hack. We know what words are for.